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J Biol Chem. 1995 Apr 14;270(15):8629-36.

Activation of natural killer cell migration by leukocyte integrin-binding peptide from intracellular adhesion molecule-2 (ICAM-2).

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  • 1Department of Pathology, University of Helsinki, Finland.


Intracellular adhesion molecule-2 (ICAM-2), one of the ligands of CD11a/CD18 (LFA-1), is mainly expressed on endothelial and hematopoietic cells. The biological significance of ICAM-2 has remained unclear. Previous findings have shown that a peptide from ICAM-2, spanning residues 21-42 from the first immunoglobulin domain, enhances natural killer (NK) cell cytotoxicity and induces T cell aggregation. We have now studied the effect of the same ICAM-2 peptide on NK cell migration in the Boyden chamber assay. The peptide significantly increased NK cell migration up to 215 +/- 21%, as compared to migration of control cells (100%), and the induction was inhibited by anti-CD11a monoclonal antibodies. The ICAM-2 peptide also induced polymerization of F-actin at the leading edge of migratory NK cells. Cross-linking of CD11a/CD18 receptors with anti-CD11a or anti-CD18 monoclonal antibodies and secondary antibodies resulted in receptor recycling, increased migration, and actin polymerization, but led to slight inhibition of cytotoxicity. The ICAM-2 peptide did not induce such a receptor recycling. Phosphotyrosine immunoblotting experiments showed that the ICAM-2 peptide increased the phosphorylation of 150- and 35-kDa proteins. During cross-linking with antibodies, only the 150-kDa protein showed increased phosphorylation. The results show that depending on the type of CD11a/CD18 receptor ligation different kinds of signals are transduced in NK cells. These signals may either trigger only locomotion, or both locomotion and cytotoxicity. Based on these findings, a major function for ICAM-2 on endothelium may be triggering of migration of adhering leukocytes.

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